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HBR: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail | [John P. Kotter]

HBR: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail

Businesses hoping to survive over the long term will have to remake themselves into better competitors at least once along the way. These efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, rightsizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds, to name a few. In almost every case, the goal has been to cope with a new, more challenging market by changing the way business is conducted. In this article, John Kotter outlines the eight largest errors that can doom these efforts.
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Publisher's Summary

Businesses hoping to survive over the long term will have to remake themselves into better competitors at least once along the way. These efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, rightsizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds, to name a few. In almost every case, the goal has been to cope with a new, more challenging market by changing the way business is conducted. A few of these endeavors have been very successful. A few have been utter failures. Most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale. John Kotter is renowned for his work on leading organizational change. In 1995, when this article was first published, he had just completed a 10-year study of more than 100 companies that attempted such a transformation. Here he shares the results of his observations, outlining the eight largest errors that can doom these efforts and explaining the general lessons that encourage success.

From the January 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review.

©2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College, All Rights Reserved; (P)2007 Audible Inc.

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  • Erich
    Auckland Park, South Africa
    14/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Practical advice for any leader"

    I was actually busy with a transformation project when I first encountered this short piece. It's very very good. Practical advice, easy to follow, insightful and useful. Excellent value. A real gem that I listen to every few months.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nahar
    Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
    18/01/11
    Overall
    "Short and to the point"

    Excellent reading. Short but down to the point. I think it can be used as a guidline to prevent failures of change. I saw many of the things mentioned in this cast during my professional life. This just put it in a short 30-minute session. It IS a mut-read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    02/01/11
    Overall
    "A worth while read"

    I found this article very helpful in restructuring our organization. I am currently working on building a guiding coalition. If you are not familar with John Kotter`s books, start out with this article.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gladwell
    Waianae, HI, United States
    08/10/10
    Overall
    "Excellent article"

    The article is detailed, poignant and well illustrated. Makes for educational and enjoyable listening. The eight common mistakes described effectively guide an organization through the obstacle course of change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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